An al-Qaida suspect was freed Monday after the country's high court blocked his extradition to Spain, ruling that a European Union-wide arrest warrant - heralded as a key step in the fight against terrorism - does not yet comply with German law. The ruling comes as European governments are scrambling to enact legislation following the deadly bombings in London. It also deals a blow to the EU's post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism plans and highlights the difficulties Europe faces in rushing through anti-terror laws frowned upon by the courts and at times angrily contested by civil libertarians. The Karlsruhe-based Federal Constitutional Court released Mamoun Darkazanli, who has German and Syrian citizenship, after deciding that Germany's version of the European arrest warrant introduced last August violates the country's constitution and a suspect's basic rights.
Darkazanli is among 41 suspects, including Osama bin Laden, indicted by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, who has been investigating the al-Qaida terror network. He faces up to 12 years in a Spanish prison if convicted of membership in a terrorist organization. Darkazanli, 46, appears in a 1999 wedding video with two of the three Sept. 11, 2001 suicide pilots - Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah - who lived and studied in Hamburg along with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. The United States has labeled Darkazanli's Hamburg-based trading company a front for terrorism. He appeared on U.S. suspect lists after Sept. 11, but has denied any links to bin Laden or the attacks. Specifically, the German court said the country's legislature failed to provide a mechanism for appeal when making the EU legislation national law, and also had not gone far enough in considering suspects' fundamental rights.
This is how you win the war on terrorism...